Are you terrified of mosquito bites? Who isn’t?
Do you feel pangs of intense guilt every time you use a commercially packed chemical either in a plug-in diffuser or on your child’s skin or clothes?
Then this article by Annelise Piers – essential oil expert and advocate of all things natural is what you need to read. In this article Annelise explains in detail – how essential oils can be used in various ways to protect children from mosquitoes naturally. She also emphasizes all precautions necessary to keep children safe while using essential oils.
About Annelise Piers
Annelise Piers is a yogic sciences expert & apothecary. Anna specializes in the perimenopause and menopausal transition, empowering women to stay in the driver’s seat on their wellness journey, every day of the month. Her immersive research has come from her own personal labs and mantra that women do not have to suffer. She has dropped 24 kgs and kept it off over the past 7 years, applying a gentle system of working with the mind and body, inside out. She uses yogic sciences and metaphor therapy to bring about mind and body balance. She is an RYT200 Hatha Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance USA, and an NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer, licensed by co-founder Dr. Richard Bandler and the Society of Neuro Linguistic Programing (USA & UK). Follow her on Instagram: annelise_piers
3 Best Essential oils to keep mosquitoes away naturally
Of all God’s creatures – big and small – none is more lethal than the humble mosquito 😉 Having stared dengue in the face twice, I realized that I had to protect my family and not leave my good fortune to the city municipality.
Also Read Dengue symptoms – what parents should know
What essential oils can be used to keep away mosquitoes?
Of course I get my garden sprayed every Thursday and keep a shop-bought herbal spray at hand for those really bad times, but like any apothecary worth her salt, I evangelize the use of all-natural essential oils (EOs), bottles of which you see coming out of the woodwork on supermarket shelves.
For the essential oils mentioned below – I’ve based my choices of oils on studies of the efficacy of each –
- Catnip oil – Catnip is the most promising natural mosquito repellent – more effective than the chemical DEET. I’ve even heard of people planting catnip around the house and bruising the plant to ward off mosquitoes. PRECAUTIONS: Do not use on or diffuse near children under 2 years old. Avoid if you are prone to epilepsy (may be psychotropic) and be careful using this oil around cats. Oils like Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Peppermint and Camphor also have contraindications in epilepsy.
- Neem oil – Again, one doesn’t need to look further than our ancestral wisdom of using Neem oil – both, diffused in the room or applied onto the skin with coconut oil. PRECAUTIONS: Remember it has a very strong, pungent smell so use very little to start with. Please do not use Neem oil for internal consumption; it could be fatal.
- Citronella oil – Most commonly used is Citronella. However, oils like these (Lemongrass included) have a high aldehyde content and could irritate the skin. PRECAUTIONS : Do a patch test in small dilution and then use. Add Vanilla extract with the Citronella to increase the efficacy of mix.
Don’t expect to come up smelling roses with the suggestions above: the oils have their own distinct scents and could be a tad strong. But that’s the idea, isn’t it.
Also read 12 Rainy Day Precautions To Keep Your Child Healthy This Monsoon
How to Make your own natural mosquito repellent
When you make your own natural home remedy mosquito repellent – you can use it in three ways
- As a spray
- As an oil that can be applied on the skin
- In a diffuser
Recipe for essential oil mosquito repellent spray
Take 3-4 drops of Essential oil (Catnip / Neem / Citronella)
You could add 2-3 drops of Spearmint or Lemongrass
Mix them well in 20 ml of Vegetable glycerin or Witch hazel
Top it up with distilled water
Store in a bottle with spray nozzle and use as required. Shake well before applying
EOs do not mix in water and I’d be wary of recipes that advice just mixing EOs in your bath water, foot salts, or even distilled water or wipes. I often use hydrosols instead for a face mist, wipes or even my yoga mat.
Recipe for essential oil mosquito repellant for the skin
Take 3-4 drops of Catnip and Citronella EOs and add 2-3 drops of Spearmint, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange*
Mix them well in 20 ml of Carrier oil (Coconut oil/ Almond oil / Olive oil)
Put in roll-on bottle and use when required
Apply on the skin in small quantities after you have done a patch test.
*Always consult a doctor before you use any oil on or near babies and small children. Refer to this link for more specifics on dilutions for different ages and oils.
Many citrus oils could be phytotoxic and not safe to wear when exposed to the sun. I’ve chosen Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) as it presents no such threat. However, oils like Citronella and Lemongrass could get oxidised really fast, so be ready to buy fresh stock every six months.
Recipe for essential oil mosquito repellent in a diffuser
Take 8 drops each of drops of Catnip, Neem or Citronella, and add 5-6 drops of Lavender (if you want to sleep) or Peppermint/Lemongrass (to energize you during the day)
Put them in a candle or electric diffuser along with water in the holder and allow it to burn.
Start with a few drops as some people might find some of these scents too strong, especially Peppermint.
Another thing to remember is that often room fresheners and candles use synthetic chemicals and are best avoided.
Essential oil recipe for treating mosquito bites
Now just in case some really resilient troops make it past your home-made shield, here’s a gentle blend for any damage done:
Lavender oil – 4 drops
Tea tree oil – 4 drops
Sweet basil oil – 4 drops
Carrier oil – 20 ml in a roller bottle (Almond, Olive or Coconut oil)
You can increase the Sweet basil slightly if the itching is severe. It could irritate the skin, so you want to be careful. Lavender will kick in almost immediately, soothing the bite and Tea Tree brings its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic powers to the mix.
Get some more recipe ideas here
Important precautions while using essential oils on babies and children
- Buy only good quality oils and read the fine print – look out for quality and oils meant for therapeutic use only, unless using in diffusers. But then again, ensure it’s not synthetic.
- Read up for contraindications – what to avoid if on other medications, suffering from heart, pressure, diabetes or even psychological issues, and in pregnancy, among others.
- Always follow individual dilution specifications for different ages and even around pets. For most EOs it’s about 3-4 drops per 20 ml of carrier oil. But there are other that require much less like 1-2 drops only.
- Check with your doctor before you use essential oils on children – I’d encourage you to do your own research/check with your doctor before using any EO and always remember to mix it well in a carrier oil like almond, olive or coconut. Do not use on the skin, chest, face or back of very young children. For very young kids it may be better to use essential oils only on their clothes or diffuse in a well-ventilated room. Again, read this link for more specifics.
- Avoid using EOs on broken skin
- Avoid any internal consumption of EOs
How often do essential oil mixes need to be applied
The active ingredients in EOs are highly volatile and evaporate and so these need reapplication every two hours or less.
Using soybean oil as a carrier is known to offer longer-lasting protection.
Where can you buy essential oils
A few places you can buy your oils from: Falcon Essential oils in Kanakapura 9845628339 or http://www.mokshalifestyle.com (Delhi)
I found this suggestion on Amazon — Formulated by world-renowned essential oil safety expert, Robert Tisserand.
Also read What to do when your child is cranky during the rainy season
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